Monday, September 20, 2010
Saint Andrew Kim
September 20th marks the feast day of Saint Andrew Kim, the first Korean to be ordained a priest. Korean philosophers sought Christianity and studied it solely as a philosophy. Later, they began to adopt it as a religion. From the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries, Korea was largely Confucian country. The adoption of Christianity threatened the hierarchical state of Confucianism. Saint Andrew Kim was forced to go to China to be ordained. He returned to Korea and converted many. He was tortured and killed in 1846. One hundred and three martyrs were killed between 1839, 1846 and 1867.
Today, South Korea has a very strong Christian presence. There are churches, charities, universities and hospitals throughout the entire country. Churches in North Korea were confiscated and closed down. I found the faith of Koreans was extremely strong. We've drifted away from that in the West. How we need it now!